The role of referees

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One of the most fundamental aspects of our job here at the Nature research journals is overseeing the peer-review process. In making our decisions on whether to accept a manuscript for publication, the advice given to us by experts on the topic in question is absolutely crucial. And we get a wide range of responses from referees – sometimes we get very lengthy and detailed reports (some of which even rival the word count of the original manuscript being evaluated – yes, really), and sometimes we get very short reports of just a sentence or two.

What do we want? Well, Nature Physics have written a wonderfully lucid editorial explaining just that. If you referee for any journal, but especially those in the Nature stable, this is required reading. You can find the editorial here – it is freely available, but you do need to have a account.

I’ll leave you with one of the most important sentences from the editorial to whet your appetite and encourage you to go and read it – Whatever you think about a paper, it is vital to explain to us exactly why you think it.


Stuart Cantrill (Chief Editor, Nature Chemistry)

Go to the profile of Stu Cantrill

Stu Cantrill

Chief Editor, Nature Chemistry, Springer Nature

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